As consumers are becoming more aware of what they’re putting into their bodies, marketing companies are growing savvier. Most of us already know that MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a harmful chemical found in many fast and prepackaged foods. “MSG-free” has become a popular label on packaged foods geared toward the health conscious consumer, but some may not yet know that products touted as being free of MSG may not necessarily be free of this neurotoxin. Moreover, many products contain MSG-like ingredients known by various other names. L-glutamic acid and glutamate, both producing the same effects as MSG, are considered safe salt alternatives by the FAO and WHO and are found in products labeled “MSG-free.” In truth, these are both alternate names for free glutamic acid, and are simply additives whose amino acids have been separated from the sodium component. As such, they need not be explicitly labeled as “monosodium glutamate.”
The surest way to avoid MSG is simply to abstain from all packaged and processed foods. Pick up any food item in a package or can, or just about any meal at a fast-food restaurant, and you are sure to find at least one of the additives below in the list of ingredients. For that reason, it is best to steer clear of plastic, tin, or cardboard packaging, as it will almost always be questionable. The more ingredients listed, the more likely the food item is to be contaminated with glutamate. If any item contains more than 5 ingredients that alone would hint it contains a form of MSG. MSG is an addictive compound. For those who do choose to consume processed foods, the next best option would be to become familiar with the usual suspects that either contain or result in MSG and avoid them. Careful examination of ingredient lists is critical. There are 50 different ways MSG can be labeled. In addition, tin cans are often coated with chemicals containing MSG.
The following ingredients that always contain processed free glutamic acid should wave a red flag:
Glutamic acid (E 620), glutamate (E 620), monopotassium glutamate (E 622), calcium glutamate (E 623), monoammonium glutamate (E 624), magnesium glutamate (E 625), natrium glutamate, anything “hydrolyzed,” any “hydrolyzed protein,” calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, yeast extract, Torula yeast, yeast foods, yeast nutrient, autolyzed yeast, gelatin, textured protein, whey protein, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, soy protein, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, anything “protein,” anything “protein fortified,” soy sauce, soy sauce extract, protease, anything “enzyme modified,” anything containing “enzymes,” anything “fermented.” Gluten is always processed and broken down into free glutamic acid. Processed gluten-free foods also generate MSG.
Oxygrow, containing MSG, is sprayed on conventional fruits and vegetables. It penetrates the cell walls of the membranes of the produce.
The following ingredients often contain or produce some glutamic acid in their processing: Carrageenan (E 407), bouillon and broth, stock, any “flavors” or “flavoring” (including artificial or natural flavorings) maltodextrin, citric acid, citrate (E 330), anything “ultra-pasteurized,” barley malt, pectin (E 440), malt extract, seasonings, baking powder, lecithin, xanthum gum, molasses. Raspberry and banana flavor are associated with MSG. All chicken broth preparations contain MSG, as well as chicken flavor.
The following ingredients are highly suspected of containing or creating free glutamic acid which can trigger MSG reactions: Corn starch, corn syrup, modified food starch, Lipolyzed butter fat, dextrose, rice syrup, brown rice syrup, milk powder, reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%), most things “low fat” or “no fat,” anything “enriched,” anything “vitamin enriched,” anything “pasteurized,” annatto, vinegar, balsamic vinegar. Any pasteurized milk contains MSG, which is created during the processing. Casein, the protein in milk, generates free MSG in milk, cheese and yogurt.
Unfortunately, even seemingly healthful items found in health food stores are often laden with processed free glutamate. Although vegans tend to consume fewer processed foods than their omnivorous counterparts, they are not left out, as many frozen dinners and packaged snacks, although free of animal products, will still be high in preservatives and artificial flavorings. Vegans would do best to be wary and avoid the following frequently purchased food products: Tamari and soy sauce, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, seasonings, salad dressings, veggie broths (yeast extract, maltodextrin), nutritional yeast, store-bought nut milks (most contain carrageenan, guar gum, and/or locust bean gum), vegan protein bars and protein powders (hydrolyzed proteins). Gluten-free soy products also contain MSG.
Be aware that “No MSG” does not mean “No MSG.” This is a major marketing gimmick. The inclusion of MSG in processed foods results in financial benefits for the manufacturer, and MSG is FDA approved. Everybody will experience symptoms from ingesting MSG, and the amount needed to result in disease depends on the individual’s toxic threshold. This is reason enough to prepare meals and snacks from unprocessed, organically grown foods.
http://www.msgtruth.org/ http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00247894#page-1 http://www.codexalimentarius.net/gsfaonline/additives/details.html?id=325 http://www.naturalnews.com/025066.html# http://www.naturalnews.com/034272_MSG_monosodium_glutamate.html http://truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/HealthPsych/msg.htm http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health_psychology/msg.htm
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jJj9W4uF_4 Stop MSG to End Autism
By Karen Ranzi, M.A. with intern Stephanie Vasquez Adames